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How to troubleshoot VMware vSphere Replication issues

When problems occur with the tool you use to protect your data, it's imperative to track down the logs that can help restore order.

Logs are a principal source of troubleshooting information -- especially in complex environments with important hardware and software interdependencies. VMware's vSphere Replication is the company's hypervisor-based data protection product. A virtual appliance provides detailed logs that can help diagnose potential issues in-house or when communicating with support staff from VMware.

As an example, the hms-configtool.log file located in the /opt/vmware/hms/logs/ folder can reveal problems with vSphere Replication connecting to SQL Server. The same log might also show errors reporting problems supporting DB2 or other database applications. The boot.msg log can report start up problems, which might indicate system faults, connectivity problems or a host of other possible issues. Such logs can significantly shorten the time needed to isolate and resolve problems.

Logs can be accessed through the Replication appliance's management interface using a Web browser. After entering the URL for the appliance's interface, click the vSphere Replication Management (VRM) tab, select Support, and then click Generate. This creates a .zip file of all the current vSphere Replication logs and provides a downloadable link. The .zip file should contain multiple logs from locations including:





It should be possible to access vSphere Replication log files individually, though administrators might need to set permissions to access the log folders or gather logs automatically.

Logs can become extremely large, so a bit of log storage management may become necessary. VMware's vSphere Replication creates new logs when the log file reaches about 50 MB. Replication will retain about 10 older log packages and will remove the oldest log packages to make space for newer ones. This should minimize the need for manual intervention, but you can also opt to delete older log packages as desired by clicking Delete next to the log package you want to remove.

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What tool do you use when troubleshooting VMware applications?
We use logs as the principal mechanism for troubleshooting VMware issues especially if the surrounding environments are complex and a lot has been invested in the hardware as well as software integration. Mostly, we connect to SQL server to run down the source. Our virtual appliance is able to create detailed logs that assist in diagnosing potential issues.
VSphere replication is a pretty good tool, but there are better third party tools on the market, quite frankly. Veeam leaps to mind, among others.
I was hoping for a little more detail than "Look at the logs." Anything in particular we should be looking for? What sort of settings do we need to use to ensure we're logging the right stuff without drowning ourself?